National Science Foundation Grant for Cybersecurity Faculty Development for High School Teachers

By Dan DiPrinzio | January 23, 2024

Arcadia University, in partnership with Elmhurst University, received a grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to create cybersecurity workshops with the aim of educating and recruiting more students into the practicum of cybersecurity. Arcadia University was awarded $160,710 to implement its project activities out of $499,620 of the total NSF funding received by Elmhurst University.

Vitaly Ford, PhD, associate professor of Computer Science at Arcadia and co-principal investigator on the grant, will work with faculty at Elmhurst to create workshops for high school faculty in an effort to bridge the gap between high school education and college-level cybersecurity programs.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number and scale of cyberattacks. Many of these attacks have affected government agencies, businesses, schools, and individuals. This fact, combined with society’s pervasive dependence on technology, has highlighted the critical need for more cybersecurity professionals. 

Unfortunately, there is a widening gap between the number of available positions and the number of college graduates able to fill those positions.

This project will focus on conducting faculty development workshops aimed at improving cybersecurity education for high school teachers. By empowering high school teachers with cybersecurity knowledge, they can help inspire and guide students toward considering cybersecurity degrees and careers.

“The workshops will become a pivotal bridge for the Philadelphia metro region high school teachers,” said Ford. It will assist them in guiding their students towards a future in cybersecurity and addressing the pressing demand for skilled professionals in the face of escalating cyber threats.”